Fences stars Denzel Washington as Troy (Denzel Washington is also the film’s director) and Viola Davis as Rose. Before I go further, perhaps you are are not aware that Fences is actually based on a famous stage play which actor Denzel Washington had previously performed in many times. Denzel has always been a huge fan of the play and naturally developed the desire to transform Fences into a motion picture for the whole world to see. Because this is based on a stage play, Fences is a film that is very heavy with dialogue and requires your complete attention.
The film introduces us to Troy (Washington), who is a husband & a father of two boys- one teenage, one adult. Troy works daily as a trash collector and has done so over the last 18 years of his life (you know, the normal Monday till Friday kinda job). His pay is handed to his wife weekly and they use the money to try and get by each week. His wife Rose (Davis) is honourable & humble. She provides a clean home, cooks meals, is welcoming of guests, attends church & supports her husband in ALL circumstances.
Fences is a film that can make the viewer enjoy key moments one minute and then suddenly feel very uncomfortable the next. Happy moments between two people change suddenly with simple dialogue. The film does a great job of showing the many challenges this family are currently facing as well as explaining information about our characters past. The information about characters pasts also explains why they deal with certain situations like they do within the film…
Our leads as you would expect are outstanding. The dialogue between the leads is quick, snappy and never fails to deliver an outstanding performance. While Fences is a heavy drama (even for a PG film) as audience members I feel we can connect & relate to this film in some way. Every husband wants to be a good provider for his home and the list goes on.
The film doesn’t have any real motion picture soundtrack. In fact, I think over 2 hours I heard 3 minor amounts of music (mostly for scene transitions) and the scenes are mostly focused within a home and its back yard. This all sounds very basic, but the good news is it’s all very effective and feels real.
At times you swear you are simply watching a stage play and not a film.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden